Threat to Ocon’s F1 future is “unfair” – Gasly | 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly says it is “unfair” that his former karting rival Esteban Ocon’s future in Formula 1 is in doubt.

The Force India driver is widely expected to lose his seat for the 2019 F1 season to Lance Stroll, whose father led an investment group which took over the team in August.

In a response to a question from RaceFans, Gasly said Ocon’s situation is “pretty tough.”

“I mean, this world in F1, it’s not the first time that things are unfair. I’ve always said it, and I think everyone more or less agrees with it, that performance should be the only parameter to get your seat in Formula 1 and we all believe it should be the case.

“Unfortunately it’s a sport where politics and money play a massive part and as a driver it’s difficult to accept sometimes and I think he’s facing a situation that’s quite unfair.”

During the Russian Grand Prix weekend Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer indicated the team intends to announce its 2019 driver line-up after this weekend’s race in Suzuka.

Sergio Perez, who is expected to be confirmed as Stroll’s team mate, also sympathises with Ocon’s situation.

“It will be very sad because I think he’s a great talent, he has done a good job and definitely deserves a seat in Formula 1,” said Perez during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.

“We’ve seen in the past with [Nico] Hulkenberg after such a year that he did in his first season and he got kicked out. Formula 1 is a very hard world and very limited on opportunities.

“It’s all about timing. Drivers like [Charles] Leclerc come in at the right time, right moment and boom, get straight away a massive opportunity.

“As always you need a bit of luck in this sport to in the right time at the right moment and certainly it’s not looking that way from Esteban at the moment but I am sure he has great support from Toto [Wolff] so he’s anyway in a privileged position.”

@HazelSouthwell contributed to this article.

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2018 F1 season

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